Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 5/5
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
Well, first things first.
One: this book didn’t make me cry. I don’t know if there’s anything wrong with me for not ugly-crying or wailing at a decibel that would make puppies howl, but I didn’t cry. Everyone else said they cried while reading this book. I didn’t. I was sad, I was heartbroken, I felt despondent, and I kept wishing against all odds that the inevitable conclusion could somehow be avoided. But I didn’t cry. Is that a bad thing?
Two: I didn’t connect with either Augustus or Hazel. Both are great characters with depth and they’re flawed as heck, but I just couldn’t connect with them on any level. In stark contrast, I absolutely loved, loved, LOVED Hazel’s parents, and Isaac. My heart bled for Hazel and Augustus, but I just couldn’t form a bond with them. I have no idea why, but it is what it is.
The aforementioned points aren’t complaints. They’re only observations. The Fault in Our Stars was every wonderful thing I didn’t expect. I’ve wanted to read TFIOS so many times. In fact, every time I read a glowing review about it, I desperately wanted to pick up this book and start reading it. Alas, I was too chicken. For some reason I didn’t want to get drawn into the suffering of a terminal patient for whom there is no hope. During the very first chapter, though, I came to realize that this is not such a novel at all.
No matter that I only connected with two characters (and not even the MCs), TFIOS is a phenomenal story. Whether it makes you cry or not is not what’s important. What you take from it after you’ve closed the book, is what is important. Though both Hazel and Augustus share a deeper insight and understanding about the disease that is progressively ending their lives, they are two very different people. Yet they don’t let their differences stand in their way of falling in love...and what a beautiful, evocative, romance they have! But keep in mind that this is not just a love story. It is much, much more than that.
The Fault in Our Stars is unprecedented in its uniqueness. Every theme explored in this novel gave me something to think about. It was written with compassion, an appropriate lightheartedness, and a profound understanding of the fragility of life. John Green is a marvelous author, and though I’m sure I might not enjoy all his novels equally, I’m so glad I was finally convinced to give this book a chance. You’d be too.
ABOUT the AUTHOR
John Green is the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. He is also the co-author, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green’s books have been published in more than a dozen languages.
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